Monday, September 30, 2019

UPDATED: Our Globe Trotting AG Bill Barr

The "big news" this afternoon is that Bill Barr, in company with USA John Durham, has been flying to foreign lands--places like the UK and Italy--to solicit cooperation in his Russia Hoax investigation. 

Disgraced former DoJ National Security official David Laufman says that it's “fairly unorthodox for the attorney general personally to be flying around the world as a point person to further evidence-gathering for a specific Justice Department investigation.” I wouldn't personally know whether or not that's true, but it certainly does confirm the high priority that Barr places on this investigation. That's so obvious that sundance didn't even bother to paste his derisive Barr-on-the-bagpipes photo at the end of his post. Instead, he writes:

Deep State Impeachment Team Racing Against Time, Durham and Barr – NY Times Aids With Australian Narrative 
by sundance 
It is becoming clear the principals connected to the 2016 weaponization of the intelligence apparatus, DOJ and FBI are increasingly concerned about U.S. Attorney John Durham and Attorney General Bill Barr looking at the origins of “Spygate” and the Trump-Russia narrative.  Lawfare and their media outlets are leading their defensive-based offensive.

It appears that the narrative that the Deep State is trying to push out is that it's somehow improper for Barr to be investigating the Russia Hoax, since Robert "Bob" Mueller already did that. Thus, Barr's investigation must be a personal thing, for the benefit of Trump's 2020 campaign. And Barr should "at a minimum" recuse himself from doing that sort of thing. Preferably he'd resign or go into retirement in Siberia. Thus, the NYT writes in its sub-header:

Trump Pressed Australian Leader to Help Barr Investigate Mueller Inquiry’s Origins
The discussion was another instance of the president using American diplomacy for potential personal gain.

However, if you read the article you'll find zero actual evidence for the claim that Barr is somehow working for Trump's personal political benefit. Instead, you'll find the bare assertion followed by the admission that Barr and DoJ are engaged in an actual official investigation, just like they've said. But the NYT doesn't seem to want to acknowledge that the POTUS is also the chief law enforcement official of the United States, and the logical person to break logjams in foreign legal cooperation:

And like the call with the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, the discussion with Mr. Morrison shows the president using high-level diplomacy to advance his personal political interests. 
President Trump initiated the discussion in recent weeks with Mr. Morrison explicitly for the purpose of requesting Australia’s help in the Justice Department review of the Russia investigation, according to the two people with knowledge of the discussion. Mr. Barr requested that Mr. Trump speak to Mr. Morrison, one of the people said. It came only weeks after Mr. Trump seemed to make military aid to Ukraine contingent on Mr. Zelensky doing him the “favor” of helping Mr. Barr with his work.

Well, duh! Mr. Barr's "work" is the DoJ's Russia Hoax investigation. It's incredibly important, as Barr has repeatedly and publicly maintained. Why would the USA send aid to a country that isn't cooperating in such important work?

Of course, Barr isn't about to recuse or resign or anything of the sort. The Deep State narrative is so patently absurd that Barr will laugh and swat those suggestions away.

The foreign officials who have been meeting with Barr are faced with some sobering choices. If they're convinced that Trump won't win reelection, they can always tell Barr to pound sand. That's a risky bet. Moreover, if Trump wins they could be faced with a very annoyed US Attorney General, and the AG has a lot of clout in international legal affairs.

If you want to read the full spin, follow the link:

NEW: Attorney General William Barr has held private meetings overseas with foreign intelligence officials, including in the U.K. and Italy, seeking their help in investigation of the Russia investigation.

UPDATE: The investigation in question--backed by a virtual mountain of evidence--concerns a conspiracy on the part of our intelligence agencies to subvert a national election and, having failed in that, to stage a lawfare coup to oust the elected president. In those efforts our intelligence agencies, presumptively with the approval of the past administration, enlisted the help of foreign intelligence services--again, presumptively with the approval of their respective governments. The whole thing is mind boggling, yet the NYT--no doubt egged on by their political and intel masters--is maintaining that it's somehow improper for the President and Attorney General to seek to get to the truth of this. That it could only possibly be for personal political gain, rather than for the good of the country. Remarkable. Sick.


  1. I don't look at CTH unless you or someone else I respect cites him. While I respect his knowledge, he really undercuts himself with his childish behavior. I hate it when he shows the picture of Barr with the bagpipes.

    It's really beneath him.

    1. He's just mad he's not getting DoJ leaks, like John Solomon.

    2. You should check in anyway every day- sure, Sundance loses it occasionally with regards to the slowness, but he has rarely been wrong in doing so in the past- he was the first, for example, to doubt Christopher Wray and Session's guy Huber. It isn't out of the realm of possibility that he is wrong about Barr, though I think Sundance is on less firm ground on this one given that Barr adeptly ended the Mueller probe and obstruction attack.

  2. Trump feigned a weak hand, causing dupes to push Ukraine, and then Impeachment. Once the Money was good, Trump check-raised them 3x the pot (UK, Italy, Australia).

    Welcome to the nightmare, Dupes. In Poker, we would say the Democrats are now "pot committed"...

    1. This truly pathetic attempt--totally bound to fail--to somehow induce Barr to withdraw from the field of battle ...

      It has me reconsidering just how truly committed the Dems are to impeachment.

    2. I think the first signs of them backing down are now appearing. I now think there is little chance of them moving impeachment any time before next Spring, and if it gets past Spring, no chance at all.

    3. You may well be on to something. Check out the post "The still don't understand Trump."

  3. Mark, one of the things I find truly amazing are these demands from Democrats that certain people remove themselves, e.g. Giuliani can't appear/express opinions national issues because he's not an elected official, and Barr must recuse himself.

    There's no attempt to offer an argument or plausible explanation of the line of thinking--just outright demands as if entirely reasonable protocol.

    This is just laughable, unserious, Bozo-the-clown conduct.

    1. It's pretty obviously strictly for public consumption. Even so, I suspect the only people it fools is their base.

  4. These stories buttress your analysis regarding AG Barr’s reported "surprise and anger" at Trump’s call with Zelenskyy. Barr requested Trump to ask relevant foreign leaders to liaise with him in the furtherance of DOJ’s investigation into, inter alia, foreign machinations into the 2016 election. By mentioning Giuliani, immediately following Trump’s proper and legitimate request to aid a DOJ investigation, Zelenskyy cunningly succeeded, however briefly, in distracting Trump’s attention from the favor - aiding a DOJ investigation - to almost entirely domestic Ukrainian matters (Shokin’s removal, the "bad news" Ukrainian people whom the US Ambassador was dealing with, and the investigation into Burisma/Hunter Biden). Therefore, AG Barr couldn’t personally liaise with the relevant Ukrainian authorities about a matter within his purview, without raising questions about whether he was also involving himself in the other matters raised in the call. Especially because of this line from Trump, "There's a lot of talk about Biden's son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great." And so, per the DOJ press release, he didn’t. Instead it appears he and Durham are relying on Ukrainians to reach out to them first to provide information, which is far from optimal. Furthermore, Barr’s job of defending the legitimacy of his probe and any resultant charges or admonishments to a hostile press corps - already a tall task - has been needlessly complicated.

    One other related point: Giuliani has insisted that he began his Ukraine-centered investigation in the hopes of finding exculpatory evidence related to the Mueller inquiry in the service of his client. He then learned of the Biden/Ukraine alleged corruption in the course of rooting around Ukrainian matters. Whether Joe Biden corruptly leveraged Ukraine to fire a prosecutor who was conducting an investigation of a Ukrainian company whose board his son was a member of is worthy of investigation. That’s all well and good. But, I think, to AG Barr ferreting out foreign machinations and how they worked into the plot against Trump takes precedence. Perhaps I’m being unduly cynical, but to bite into two rotten apples at once isn’t possible in our present political environment, especially when the second rotten apple concerns the leading candidate for the democratic nomination. There were other avenues available - as an arm of Trump’s political campaign against Biden, for example - to highlight Biden’s perfidy than involving DOJ. Instead of dealing with a "whistleblower" complaint falsely alleging that Trump withheld military aid solely to leverage Ukraine to aid Barr’s legitimate inquiry, the complainant was able to spin a wild tale about Trump soliciting foreign interference in the upcoming election.

    1. I think you're absolutely right about Barr's priorities. Of course corrupt misuse of office is important, but it pales in significance compared to an attempted coup in collusion with foreign powers.